Move past your mistakes
Posted Aug. 31 at 04:20 AM
I saw perfection last Saturday night, but it wasn’t at a fantasy football draft. It was The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 118 pay-per-view event. In one match, boxing legend James Toney made his mixed martial arts debut against UFC legend Randy Couture. For Couture, it was a perfect fight: He didn’t take a punch and was never in danger. Let me repeat that. Couture didn’t get hit, except maybe accidentally by a flailing Toney when he was already on the ground and getting pulverized. Everything went just right for Couture. He submitted Toney, didn’t take any kind of punishment and won easily.
What I saw in that match will never happen in a fantasy draft or auction.
The one thing you have to remember as you wrap up the player selection part of the season is that you’re going to make mistakes. Things won’t go the way you want. You might immediately regret a selection, you might forget a player was still available, you might make a bye-week error or you might miss out on the guy you wanted right before you pick, sending you into a brief panic. You’re never going to have that perfect two hours where everything falls into place, you get every player you want and you wake up the next morning with a clear champion. It just doesn’t happen.
It’s important that you know that going in, and plan to overcome those mistakes. Like a fighter who knows he’s going to take some hits, it’s how you react to that adversity that will determine your fantasy fortunes this year. It’s tough when you’re in the middle of a draft or auction, but you have to stay focused. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s this:
* If you make a mistake, let it go. Don’t spend the rest of the draft worrying about it or trying to compensate for that mistake. Accept it and move on. I used to have a big problem with this myself. If I selected a running back I regretted taking, I’d try to make up for it in the immediate rounds following the pick ... and I’d miss out on great values at receiver, tight end and quarterback. Looking back at my draft, you could see the effort to erase that mistake, and instead I compounded it. Not only was I weaker because of the mistake, but I ended up weaker at almost every position because I kept going back to the well and coming up empty. Meanwhile, my opponents kept making me pay by going about their business and taking the guys I should have taken.
You may not know what mistakes you’ll make ... but you’re going to make some. Just forget about it and move on. If you draft well, you can overcome almost any mistake you’ll make. Besides, you might be wrong about it anyway. The player you took might be much better than the original guy you wanted. An injury might make your bye week problem moot. The player that you missed out on might be a huge bust, saving you the headache of dealing with him. You don’t even know if your “mistakes” will really hurt you. But you do know that letting it affect the rest of your draft will definitely hurt you, so make a sincere effort to put it out of your mind.
On the UFC card, the last fight of the evening was a rematch between BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar. Edgar dominated the fight, but he wasn’t perfect. He absorbed punches, was taken down and had to accept some punishment. But he stuck to his plan, steadily built a dominating position round after round and overcame his challenges. Now that is how you want to perform at a draft or auction. It’s not going to be perfect, but you can overcome errors, roll with the punches and perform better than your opponents. Try to forget about your mistakes and stick to the plan. At the end of the night you’ll feel much better about your performance. Good luck this week.
You can reach Michael Murillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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